Tech

May 31, 2013

NASA, Northrop Grumman continue partnership for science

Their bulbous noses almost touching, NASA’s two Global Hawks line up nose-to-nose on the ramp at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the two autonomously operated unmanned aircraft are flown on long-duration environmental science missions.

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and the Northrop Grumman have extended a no-cost agreement that enables NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to conduct Earth science research with the Northrop Grumman-developed RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system.

The original five-year Space Act Agreement has been extended for an additional five years through April 30, 2018.

Under the original agreement that was effective May 1, 2008, NASA and Northrop Grumman returned two pre-production Global Hawk aircraft to flight status. Northrop Grumman shares in their use to conduct its own flight demonstrations for expanded markets, missions and airborne capabilities, including integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center support scientists Andrew Kupchock (top left) and Patrick Selmer (bottom left) assist Northrop Grumman mechanics Tom Ripley (top right) and Steve Crowell in installation of Goddard’s Cloud Physics Lidar into the front compartment of a NASA Global Hawk. The CPL measured cloud structure and aerosols such as dust, sea salt and smoke particles during NASA’s 2012 Hurricane and Severe Sentinel mission.

Under the partnership, a permanent ground control station was built at Dryden. A portable ground control station was then constructed and has been used for deployment of a Global Hawk to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in support of a 2012 hurricane study. Pilots controlled the aircraft for the first time from both locations.

The two Global Hawk aircraft, among the first seven built during the original Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, were transferred to NASA Dryden from the U.S. Air Force in September 2007. NASA acquired the two aircraft for research activities supporting its Airborne Science Program.

The Global Hawk is a fully autonomous, high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system that can fly up to 65,000 feet for more than 30 hours at a time. The aircraft has a range of 11,000 nautical miles. Its endurance and range allow for a non-stop flight from NASA Dryden in Southern California to the North Pole and allow it to loiter for up to seven hours over the polar region before returning to its home base.

The Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is capitalizing on the range and dwell time of the Global Hawk for atmospheric chemistry and radiation science missions in addition to hurricane research. NASA’s Genesis and Rapid Intensification and Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel missions helped researchers investigate the development and intensification of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.
Data was also collected over winter storms in the Pacific and Arctic region. Scientists for the multi-year Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment study the composition of the tropopause over the Pacific.

In addition to the advancement of science, the Global Hawk also has many other potential applications including disaster support capabilities and development of advanced unmanned aircraft systems technologies.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>